“Optimistic but lacking any objective.” This is how the magazine Manager Seminare has summarized the status of personnel development in relation to digitization efforts.
With our mobile blended learning platform, we helped more than 10,000 employees in companies like Flixbus and Siemens to learn like top athletes. It turns out that offering analogue wine in digital bottles is not enough! It is not sufficient to put the slides of your training online or send them to the employees via email.
Based on this experience, we have identified four simple rules to make the digital solutions in your learning and training efforts successful:
1.Solve a real problem of your employees
Do you use cabs to get from A to B? Then you have probably used the app FreeNow (MyTaxi). It shows how long it takes for the driver to arrive at the pick-up location, how much the trip costs and it offers the possibility to pay digitally. It solves problems of taxi customers.
Learning and Development must follow the same approach. Solving real problems of their employees and not looking for a solution that fits the idea of the program manager.
During a training, employees need to set personal achievable goals that they would like to achieve afterwards. Unfortunately, many trainings lack an easy way to do this. In the frenzy of our corporate environments, the goals do not get the attention they need – the employees need to be reminded to put their goals into practice.
2.Integrate the solution into the daily worklife of your employees
When was the last time you were at a keynote speech? It is likely that there were a lot of smartphone screens in front of you. The audience is taking pictures of the slides of the speech. This way, digitization is not successful. Would it not be better if all participants received the slides on their mobile phones via app?
In today’s trainings, digital solutions are still mostly regarded as “nice add-ons” and not integrated in the training design. This needs to change. The digital solution needs to be an essential part of the training itself and fully integrated in the regular workflow of the employees.
3.Reduce the barriers to using the digital solutions
Innovations are often met with skepticism. In the field of soft skill trainings there have hardly been any groundbreaking innovations in the last 20 years. Rolling out a digital innovation in this environment can therefore be strenuous, but all the more fruitful!
However, the accessibility of the tool is extremely important for the success of a digital solution. That is why you have to put emphasis on an intuitive UI. The goal is not to have as many features as possible. The goal needs to be that you solve the problem that you identified with the simplest solution possible.
We also experienced that the company culture determines a big part of the success of a digital solution. A culture that is conducive to innovations and encourages self-determined learning is the best foundation to make digital learning solutions successful.
4.Make sure that the digital solution is entertaining
We receive hundreds of emails and WhatsApp messages every day. This flood of information has several effects: Firstly, we have become better at quickly filtering out what is important to us from a variety of information. But secondly, there is a good chance that an important message does not catch our attention.
We have learned that using the learning solution needs to be fun for the participant as well as the program manager who is responsible for the training. Also, learning needs to take place in a focused environment. Distractions are the biggest source of frustration while training a new skill.
At our presentation at the OEB on Thursday, November 28, Dr. Daniel Schmelzer will dive deeper into our experience and how these rules to make technology supported learning and training across sectors more successful.
If you want to know more about what we have learned in the past, how we understand training learning and what helps for great training designs, check out our everskill Academy and our LinkedIn Page. Unfortunately, most of the content there is in German.
Written by Dr. Daniel Schmelzer and Tobias Stetter